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Nawaz’s lawyer recuses himself from corruption references

Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris on Monday recused himself from fighting the ex-PM’s case in the corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the Sharif family.

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Haris formally withdrew from the case as Accountability Judge Muhammad Bashir resumed proceedings in the Al-Azizia reference.

On Sunday, the Supreme Court — while granting the accountability court a 30-day extension and deadline to wrap up all three references — suggested that the hearings for the case be held on a daily basis, even on Saturdays.

Haris, when he appeared before the accountability judge, said it was not possible for him to pursue these cases under such pressure.

He also expressed his inability to work on Saturdays and Sundays — which are official weekly court holidays.

Following the withdrawal of his paper of attorney (wakalatnama) the accountability judge asked Nawaz if he would like to engage another lawyer or would he attempt to convince Haris to continue with the case.

To this, Nawaz replied that he needs some time to make a decision in this regard and requested the court to adjourn proceedings for a few days.

Haris, said that he spends the weekend preparing his arguments which is why he would not be able to continue with the case if court proceedings are held on Saturdays.

He added that it would also be unsuitable for his clients if he was unable to prepare his arguments for their cases in advance.

Haris also said that when he believes that he cannot do justice to his job it is better to recuse himself from the case.

Haris was scheduled to cross examine JIT head Wajid Zia in today’s hearing. However, the court proceedings were adjourned following Haris’s withdrawal from the case.

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